There are two types of people in this world: those who are totally psyched to receive kitchen appliances as gifts, and those whose first instinct is to send the giver straight to the basement with an air mattress and a sleeping bag. (Gentlemen, it is extremely important to determine which type of person your lady is before moving forward. Breadmakers and diamond eternity rings are very, very different.) But if the person you're shopping for is the sort that swoons over gadgets, then today's Gastro Gift Guide is for you.
The KitchenAid Artisan Mixer Have you ever seen anything more beautiful than this? Really, have you? And it doesn't just sit there lookin' all pretty: This mixer is one badass counter-top machine. It has three attachments and it mixes, folds, whips, kneads and beats. The bowl locks in place, and there's even a handy little pouring shield so that you don't end up with batter spilling where it shouldn't. If you aren't a fan of the green apple color, there are 28 others to choose from. This gift is spendy, but it will surely get you laid.
Chef's Choice Professional Knife Sharpener Some appliances are designed to encourage laziness. Microwaves, for example. Food should not be warmed using electromagnetic radiation. However, knife sharpeners are entirely justifiable. Have you ever watched a trained chef sharpen knives on a sharpening stone? It's mesmerizing, but it takes forever. If you're like me, you put off sharpening your knives until they're nearly useless and then find yourself frantically trying to chop onions with a table knife as the butter you're melting is about to burn. My point? This knife sharpener rocks, and it would be a wonderful gift.
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Williams and Sonoma Oven-Probe Thermometer Maybe you don't have a bunch of scrilla to drop on a present this year. This gift is extremely practical, not to mention indispensable when cooking roasts and thanksgiving turkey. You put the probe in the meat, set the display box on the counter and knock back a glass (or a bottle) of wine. It beeps when the desired internal temperature has been reached and nobody bitches about the meat being dry.
Williams and Sonoma also offers a cheaper, more showy thermometer, The Chef's Fork. It looks like a miniature cattle prod and the temperature appears on the screen when poked into the meat. Plus, it's perfect for keeping your kids and in-laws out of the kitchen.